Thank you all for your support of the “Re-greening of Smith Park Rehabilitation” rollout luncheon meeting at “The Manship” this past Tuesday, February 24th. We had an outstanding turnout, especially considering the weather, and 87 people attended of the 105 registrants. Special thanks to John Ditto for his “how we got here” presentation, Michael Rejebian for his incredible historical analysis of Smith Park and the wily and “oh so interesting” James S. Smith, Arden Barnett’s overview of the new bandstand and concert areas, and the presentation of “What Makes a Park Special and Friendly” by William Whyte protégé Madge Bemiss (google him).
Robert Poore and Rob Anders analysis of the sustainability of the new park, its environmentally clean nature, foliage and tree collection and entertainment areas and structures was equally outstanding. The star in the crown was probably the schematic “what we can have” and was obviously a HUGE hit with the crowd, as judged by the robust reaction and applause by the audience, the questions and encouraging comments. Thanks, Robert, Rob and Madge for an beautiful park rendering and outstanding
As further evidence of the enthusiastic response, at the end of the program, 55 people signed up for a “Friends of Smith Park” support organization, which I found really amazing. We will be in touch with those that did, and in the meantime, if you would like to be a part of this effort, or have friends or associates that would, just email us and let us know. We
will not be “formalizing” this support group for a couple of weeks, as we have much to do in the interim.
Next steps will be meeting with the City Council and Mayor/Staff on Monday, March 2nd, hopefully getting a “resolution of support” for these efforts, and then go to work procuring funding for the $2MM project. As the state is investing $130MM in two new beautiful museums with hundreds of school children visiting daily (and needing a beautiful, safe, fun area to dine on those sack lunches), with the proximity to the Capitol and also being in the
backyard of the Governor’s Mansion, this would surely seem to be a big “plus and win – win” for the state of Mississippi, along with the city of Jackson.